Scroll to the top

{{ subpage.title }}

Greece's PM on NATO, Navalny, and the wake-up call to Europe
Greece's PM on NATO, Navalny, and the wake-up call to Europe | GZERO World

Greece's PM on NATO, Navalny, and the wake-up call to Europe

Greece, the world’s oldest democracy, is undergoing a major digital, economic, and social transformation era. Ian Bremmer sat down with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference to discuss global security, the threat of AI in elections, and Greece’s landmark ruling allowing same-sex couples to marry.

With the two-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine looming large, Mitsotakis stressed the importance of continuing to send financial and military aid to Kyiv and for Europe to increase its own defense spending. NATO allies have committed to spending at least 2% of their GDP on defense, but only 18 of the 31 NATO countries currently meet this goal. Mitsotakis says it’s high time for all NATO countries to step up.
Read moreShow less
Why Greek PM Mitsotakis pushed for same-sex marriage despite strong opposition
Why Greece PM Mitsotakis defied the opposition to push for same-sex marriage | GZERO World

Why Greek PM Mitsotakis pushed for same-sex marriage despite strong opposition

On GZERO World, Ian Bremmer asked Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis for his reaction to Greece becoming the first Orthodox Christian country to legalize same-sex civil marriage. Greece’s parliament voted 176-76 to approve the legislation, which also legalizes adoption for same-sex families, despite opposition from the influential Greek Orthodox Church and from within Mitsotakis’ own center-right New Democracy party.

“I knew from the beginning that there are a lot of people within my party that did not agree with this,” Mitsotakis tells Bremmer, “But at the end of the day, human rights is about protecting smaller groups. Otherwise, you have the tyranny of the majority.”

Read moreShow less
US approves F-16s for Turkey, moving Sweden NATO membership closer
Turkey's ratification makes Sweden one step closer to NATO | Europe In :60

US approves F-16s for Turkey, moving Sweden NATO membership closer

Carl Bildt, former prime minister of Sweden, shares his perspective on European politics from Stockholm.

How are things proceeding with the ratification of the Swedish membership in NATO?

Well, it’s been some back and forth. But now Turkey has ratified and that is important. That has to do with also the agreement with the US on deliveries of F-16s and modification kits of F-16s and deliveries of F-35s to Greece. A major package has been negotiated, so that should be okay. Now, remaining with Hungary. Prime Minister Orban is a slightly unpredictable fellow, but I would guess that he can't hold off for very long. So I would hope, expect this process to be wrapped up within a couple of weeks.

Read moreShow less

FILE PHOTO: A Turkish F-16 pilot taxis past another Turkish Air Force F-16 at the 3rd Main Jet Air Base in central Turkey's city of Konya.

REUTERS/Umit Bektas

Turkey gets F-16s, Greece gets F-35s, and Sweden gets one step closer to NATO

Alliances involve a delicate dance. Turkey’s parliament formally approved Sweden’s entry into NATO last week, finally removing the biggest impediment to Stockholm’s accession. In exchange, the US State Department has notified Congress it will now approve the sale of 40 F-16 fighter jets to Turkey, plus kits to modernize Ankara's existing “Vipers.” Not a bad deal, but Turkey really wants what its rivals/allies across the Aegean are getting: the F-35.

Read moreShow less

Detail of a metope that forms part of the Parthenon sculptures, sometimes referred to in the UK as the Elgin Marbles, is displayed at the British Museum in London, Britain, January 25, 2023.

REUTERS/Toby Melville

Everything is political™: Ancient sculptures edition

Sometimes life imitates art. Sometimes art imitates life. And sometimes — sometimes — art actually screws up a summit between two European heads of state. This week, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak abruptly canceled a meeting with his Greek counterpart Kyriakos Mitsotakis after the Greek leader demanded the return of the so-called “Elgin marbles” in a BBC interview. London says the Greeks had promised not to raise the issue publicly. Athens denies this.

What are the Elgin marbles? A set of sculptures from the Parthenon, the famous ancient Greek temple in Athens. They have been on display at the British Museum since the 19th century, when the British Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire – Lord Elgin – plucked them off the badly neglected and half-wrecked Parthenon, which at the time was under Ottoman rule.

The government of modern Greece has long demanded their return to Athens. In 2009 the government even opened a swanky new museum to house the treasures. But the British have refused to hand them over. For one thing, London points out, Elgin had Ottoman permission to remove the artworks, which would otherwise have suffered further neglect and destruction.

But more importantly, a 1963 British law meant to shield artworks from politically motivated decisions actually prohibits the British Museum from repatriating works of art altogether. That law has come under fresh scrutiny amid wider debates about whether European museums should return items taken from former colonies.

Is Sunak OK? Using the marbles dispute to cancel a meeting that was meant to focus on “Gaza, Ukraine, climate, and migration” seems distinctly artless. It’s true that Sunak’s Conservative Party is especially adamant that the sculptures should stay in England. And yes, the PM is struggling with a sluggish economy and an intra-party split over immigration. But the Parthenon sculptures are hardly red meat for his base, and in any event, Athens has reportedly been nearing a quiet compromise with the British Museum.

The best explanation we’ve seen: a text message that someone on the EU Commission evidently sent to our Eurasia Group pal Mujtaba Rahman: “Has Sunak lost his marbles?”

The newly elected leader of Syriza leftist party, Stefanos Kasselakis, delivers a statement to the members of the press outside the party's headquarters in Athens, Greece, September 25, 2023.

REUTERS/Louisa Gouliamaki

Ex-Goldman banker takes helm of Greek leftist party

Stefanos Kasselakis, a Miami-based former investment banker and shipping magnate, is taking the helm of Greece’s left-wing Syriza Party, which was left bloodied by June’s general election.

Read moreShow less

NewSouth Bookstore in Montgomery, Ala., displays books that have been banned by some schools, including "Charlotte's Web" and "Captain Underpants."

USA TODAY NETWORK via Reuters Connect

Hard Numbers: Books attacked, Trump trial looms, migrant children drown off Greece, Evergrande crisis deepens, redheads celebrate

21: With the US culture wars raging, requests to remove specific books from library shelves surged last year to the highest level in 21 years, according to the American Library Association. There were more than 1,000 such requests, with books about LGBTQ themes the most targeted.
Read moreShow less

Smoke rises next to sunbeams and umbrellas as a wildfire burns, at the beach of the village of Dikella in the region of Evros, Greece.


Hard Numbers: Greece’s wildfire tragedy, Pakistan’s cable car nightmare, Japan’s radioactive water, Sudan’s hungry children

18: The Greek fire service said Tuesday that 18 bodies, possibly of migrants, were found in an area of the Dadia forest along the Turkish border that’s been hit by wildfires. Local media have reported the findings of eight additional bodies – if confirmed, this would bring the total to 26. Large swaths of southern Europe are fighting wildfires and on alert due to extreme heat and high winds.

Read moreShow less

Subscribe to our free newsletter, GZERO Daily